In a lecture at the
Said Frattini, “Throughout human history, migration has been a courageous expression of the individual’s will to overcome adversity and to live a better life. Yet I believe that we need to change –if not completely – our traditional way of thinking about migration as a world of loss and sorrow. In
Citing U.N. statistics, Frattini noted that there are more than 200 million migrant workers throughout the world, 31 million of whom legally reside in the European Union. Additionally, the almost 4 million migrants legally residing in
Frattini encouraged countries around the world to look at migration as a source of enrichment – to both their new country of residence and their country of origin, which receives support from those who find work in other locales – and not a threat. The minister advocated for fundamental rights of migrant workers, access to clear information for potential immigrants and cooperation between countries of settlement and origin to curb the flow of illegal immigration.
“Integration itself is a two-way process,” Frattini added. “Legal migrants must see their rights recognised and their duties assigned. As a matter of fact, the acquisition of rights goes hand in hand with the acceptance of duties. If migrants want to be fully integrated in our societies they have to abide by the law, learn the local language and respect our values such as human rights, women's rights and even the duty to send children to school. They should also get acquainted with both our traditions and cultural heritage. In other words, legal migrants should not only restrain themselves from pursuing aggressive strategies against the fundamental values of the destination country but they also have to acquire the necessary cultural and social means in order to actively interact with local people.”
To read his speech in its entirety, click here.